#edtech #edchat #FETC
After my recent presentation at FETC, I got the usual question, “How do you know so much about filmmaking?” My answer is simple, “Atomic Learning.”
Years ago when I first wanted my elementary kids to make their own movie I turned to the Video Story Telling Guide at Atomic Learning. Back then we barely had anything — a flip video camera, a tripod and our school had a subscription to Atomic Learning. That was it, but it was plenty enough to make a movie. The first movie I made was “Dude! Where’s My Pencil?” Thanks to what I learned about filmmaking from the video tutorials I found on Atomic Learning, So began on my path to student filmmaking and I haven’t looked back since.
I look at the lessons on Atomic Learning as just tools that help me get to where I want to be as a 21st Century educator. Since my first film, I moved on into podcasting with young students, and many other projects. Projects that help my students become better prepared for the modern world that they live in. Projects that I was able to do because of the lessons I found on Atomic Learning.
The latest thing I had to take on was the iPad, more and more students are using them and I want to make sure I was ahead of the curve so I turned back to Atomic Learning and did a search for iPad and I got 192 lessons! I scanned the lessons and soon for the ones that I needed to stay ahead of my kids.
At a modern educator I need every tool that helps me stay on top of my profession, so it is nice that I don’t have to go all over the web looking for help.
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School
#edtech #edchat #elearning #elemchat
While I was sitting and enjoying the opening keynote for the TIE Colorado conference, I could help but notice that the presenter, Roger Pryor, was wearing a tshirt with a elephant’s head printed on it. If fact, he even referred to his shirt a few times in his keynote. The elephant’s head is of course the logo for Evernote. I had never really though very much about Evernote, but the keynote references to it were just the beginning. It seamed that everywhere I went this summer I kept running into people that love Evernote.
So take I finally gave in and I downloaded the Evernote app to my iPad, then to my iPhone and then finally to my MacBook. I will install it on my school PC when I get back to work next week. I know nothing about using Evernote so I started with some online tutorials form Atomic Learning. You can see from this image that they had a lot of quick little lesson videos about Evernote. These lessons are part of their much bigger workshop called “The Social and Interactive Web.”
I spent about 15 minutes watching the videos all the while pausing every now and then to practice what I had just learned. I am now using Evernote lickety-split. I’m no pro — but I know way more about Evernote than when I woke up this morning.
Part of being a 21st Century teacher is always being ready to learn new things — and today I am glad I did, I can already see how this little program is going to help me get a little more organized as teacher.
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary School
- Keep it Forever Using Evernote’s Web Clipper (techie-buzz.com)
- Evernote Tips Tricks and Resources (ismckenzie.com)
- App of the week for journalists: Evernote – A must-have app ‘like having a second brain’ (blogs.journalism.co.uk)
#elemchat #edtech #edchat #elearning
The other day I had dinner with a fellow educator and we naturally started to talk about technology integration in the classroom (of course), so I shared a story about my daughter and Wikipedia.
The last week my daughter came home and explained to me about a game she and her classmates play on their smartphones when they are bored in school. They call them “Wikipedia Races,” they like to use Wikipedia because it is banned by most teachers at her school so they feel a bit like rebels by using this “outlawed” website – evil Wikipedia.
The game goes like this; someone names two terms that are totally unrelated and then they race to see how they can use Wikipedia to get from one term the other the quickest, kind of like using six-degrees of separation but with terms instead of people.
Here is the one that she gave me: Turtles and Photosynthesis
What the? Turtles have nothing to do with photosynthesis!
Then she showed me how she won this round just that afternoon.
She looked up turtles in Wikipedia. Then under culture she found that a turtle is used on the Cayman Island’s coat of arms. So she went to Cayman Island, then to scuba diving, then to oxygen and finally to photosynthesis. Voila!
She said that they love playing this at school – weird, I know.
This reminded me of the scene from Jurassic Park when they realized that the female-only population of dinosaurs were somehow reproducing. “Nature will find a way – Nature always finds a way.”
Our students want to use technology to do their school work, and if we don’t let them, they will still find a way to use it. So rather than trying to make our entire population of teachers tech-savvy, maybe we just need to step aside and let the students just do it.
Case in point:
I wanted my 4th grade students to learn how to make video games.
I know nothing about making video games.
So I let them watch some video tutorials on Atomic Learning to get the basics on how to use the free application called Scratch and before I knew it, they were making video games. That’s “Step Aside Teaching.” If you don’t know how to do something with technology, just step aside and let the students teach themselves.
By the way, I now know how to use Scratch because my students have also taught me while they were learning themselves. So check your ego at the door and learn a little from your students.Read More
#edtech #edchat #elearning #elem
There are days that I think that I am insane to teach technology to elementary students. There seems to be one constant that I fight with all the time, which is; The first time you try any new tech project — it will fail.
Case in point: my fourth grade students are trying to do podcasts on the U.S. Constitution. Which you think would be easy in my school considering we have done over 225 podcast episodes of our morning news show.
No such luck.
My students have hit quite a few roadblocks in the process, and I found myself running around in circles trying to troubleshoot their issues. So I had to back things up and get back to the basics of podcasting. When I reviewed the problems, it turned out that most were centered on their lack of experience in using the free program Audacity. Although their recordings were good (we have a really nice podcasting studio) it turned out that their editing skills were getting them into trouble.
To solve this I sent them back into our Atomic Learning account to learn the basics of Audacity, I found 6 video tutorials that I assigned my students and low and behold it worked. They were soon editing their podcasts like nobody’s business.
My point is that edtech is a new frontier, each project we do with our kids is like a step into the unkown. We never really know what they will pick up quickly and what will cause them to hit the wall — but we need to keep trying. Sometimes we need to reset our lesson and try a new way. But don’t give up or throw in the towel, because the payoff is huge when it does work and there is too much at risk for our student’s future for us not to try.Read More
#edtech #edchat #elearning
My 3rd grade students have just finished their project on Canada. The students have been collecting photos from different approved websites to represent different aspects about the country of Canada. The photos were then to be presented in a slide show with narration that each student wrote and recorded themselves. Here is a sample from one of my students…
As you can see from this example, students chose beautiful images to tell their story about what they have learned about Canada — digital storytelling at its best! The students used MS Photo Story 3 after learning how to use it by following the video tutorials on our school’s Atomic Learning account. The fun part was seeing how shocked the students were when they saw how professional their photo essay looked. One student even commented, “This could be on the Discovery Channel Mr. Flick!”Read More